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Exploring multi-dimensional nature of poverty in Slovakia: Access to energy and concept of energy poverty


Poverty is a multi-dimensional phenomenon, with a complicated nature, roots and multiple impacts. Although generally missing in the mainstream definitions, access to energy has become an increasingly important aspect of this poverty. In modern societies access to energy is a basic condition for full participation. In this context, even short-term deprivation results in serious difficulties for the people affected. In the article we discuss the concept of energy poverty (its origin and problems with definitions), and analyse empirical data indicating the scope and impacts of the problem in the Slovak Republic. We suggest possible approach to defining energy poverty and offer first empirical findings. In conclusion we discuss methodological problems with the conceptualization of energy poverty and possible definitions, and outline challenges and further research needs